A government school bus while ferrying children to the school on Saturday hit the boundary wall of a school in Sector 26, the reason as quoted by the driver was fog and steering getting locked. But, in the wake of the event, according to official figures provided by the State Transport Authority of Chandigarh, 10 challans have been issued in the past month to inexperienced drivers who do not have the experience of driving a vehicle for five years.
According to Balbir Singh Dhol, who is the secretary of State Transport Authority, the rules say that a school bus driver needs to have a minimum experience of five years but that is not the case with many school bus drivers in the city.
"Everyday surprise checking is being conducted by motor vehicle inspectors in the city and we try to challan as many drivers as we can only to make them understand that they are not fully capable of driving vehicles. I also conduct raids personally wherever I spot parked school buses," Dhol said.
This situation is worsening in the city because the schools are increasing and they are opting for private transporters to ferry children to and fro from home and schools. Parents trust the schools for the well being of their ward and they blame the school authorities to some extent.
Satish Singh, a parent whose child commutes in school bus, said, "The school authorities must make sure before employing drivers that they are responsible enough because when they indulge in activities such as overspeeding and racing with other buses they are endangering not only their lives but also the lives of children on board the bus. The Ambala accident should always be kept in mind."
According to parents, the idea of availing the facility of school bus is to make sure the child is safe and reaching school on time, but with the increasing number of incidents it seems that alternate options are better than availing school buses.
"A mechanism should be evolved through which the driver can be checked for speed and time he takes and also what activities he is indulging in. A roster can also be maintained where the drivers can take an undertaking from parents on the time he reached and the scheduled time can be compared like that in the case of cab facilities in offices," said Kashish Mehta, another parent.
"The UT administration has started bus services for government schools and we are not the ones who are providing the services," said a government school principal on the condition of anonymity.
No kid hurt as school bus rams into wall
According to Anokh Singh, SHO of the Sector 26 police station where the accident involving a government school bus hitting a wall took place, said, "Bus driver Ravi was driving the vehicle with children on board and on the golf club turn his steering got locked and bus rammed into the wall. We have checked on the children and no injury has been reported. The transporter and school authorities are in talks of compensating the school whose wall was damaged."